Investing in players in NFT games – NFT scholarships and other options for earning in NFT games without playing, and the related legal concerns – Lexology

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The growth of the NFT (blockchain) gaming market since 2021 has caused a major increase in the entry point for certain popular games of this kind. To take part, the appropriate number or quality of NFT elements is required, such as the characters, spellbooks, land plots, etc. In general, the price of this starter pack increases as the game in question grows in popularity, and can reach several thousand dollars (for the sake of comparison, a license to an “ordinary” game such as Cyberpunk 2077 costs sixty dollars). On one hand, this is an obstacle preventing new players joining, while on the other it means that there is a need for financial and investment cooperation schemes for people involved in the game. In general, an inadequate number of players hampers growth of the game and reduces the likelihood of market success. 
For this reason, in the case of particular NFT games, systems are created that enable a kind of sponsorship of new players by people with capital enabling them to enter (purchase of the NFTs required to begin playing). The first scheme of this kind was introduced for Axie Infinity, and involved distribution of profit from the NFTs gained and generated in the game, between: 
More games, and schemes and guilds formed independently, followed this example, resulting in the NFT scholarship model becoming commonplace. In practice, sponsored players are often players from developing countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka or the Philippines. While playing, they work and produce higher values of the specific NFTs that function in the game. These NFTs can then be traded and generate investment profit.
The current situation and rapidly growing value of the NFT gaming market could render this market increasing attractive for investment purposes. In other words, interest on the part of persons wishing to profit from NFTs without playing can be expected to increase. Achieving this goal will require cooperation with people interested in playing, and this can be in the form of the scholarship programs described above, the creation of guilds (presumably requiring contractual arrangements) and direct agreements between the investor and player. The player is given access to the NFTs purchased by the investor. In practice, the question has been raised of whether players and investors can enter into cooperation outside of the NFT scholarship models defined by particular organizations. The answer is that they can, as, according to the principle of freedom of contract, concluding agreements of this kind is not prohibited. The terms of use (license) for a particular game may provide for certain limitations in this regard. For this reason, it is advisable to begin analysis of the investment project relating to NFT players by reviewing the terms of use in question.
Moreover, in each of the cases described above, from the Polish law perspective, there are certain noteworthy issues to consider when signing an agreement of that kind: 
Clearly, therefore, investing in an NFT game needs to be considered beforehand, with respect not only to financial, but to legal aspects as well. However, due to the growth of this market and its increasing value, it can be expected to become increasingly popular among private and institutional investors alike.
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